HEPA Air Purifiers: 5 Best Medical-Grade H13 HEPA (Compared)

Not all HEPA filters are alike. You might have come across expressions like ‘True HEPA’, ‘HEPA-like’, ‘H13 HEPA’, and ‘Medical-Grade HEPA’. Are all these the same kind of filter, or are there differences between them?

Before we check out a list of the best H13 HEPA filters, we just need to clear up what HEPA actually means

Here’s a quick insight: H13 HEPA filters are the most thorough small-particle filters that are used eve in medical-grade air purifiers.

testing hepa vs h13 hepa air purifiers with aerosol
Testing HEPA filters with smoke and small particle generator. H13 HEPA filters perform better than True HEPA filters.

The HEPA filter is the most basic filtration system for all the best HEPA air purifiers use. HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. Here is how the DOE defines HEPA filter:

“(HEPA filters) remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 micrometers (μm) in diameter. The filter’s minimal resistance to airflow, or pressure drop, is usually specified around 300 pascals (0.044 psi) at its nominal volumetric flow rate.” (DOE)

In short, HEPA filters capture small particles like dust, pollen, mold, smoke, pet dander, and so on very well.

Now we know what HEPA is. Let’s answer this:

What Is The Difference Between HEPA, True HEPA, H13 HEPA, And Medical-Grade HEPA Filters?

“True HEPA is better than HEPA filter.”

True HEPA vs HEPA

That’s not true at all. ‘True HEPA’ is just a marketing term companies producing HEPA filters have come up with. There is absolutely no difference between an air purifier with True HEPA vs HEPA filters; it’s just that True HEPA was tested to sound better in consumers’ ears.

What you really need to care about when buying HEPA air purifiers are terms like ‘HEPA-like’ and ‘HEPA-style’. Those are basically wannabe HEPA filters. They don’t satisfy HEPA standards; they do not capture more than 99.97% particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter.

What Is H13 HEPA And Medical-Grade HEPA?

There are different classes of HEPA filters, according to EN 779 normalization standard. Classic HEPA filters are usually H10, H11, or H12 class. The best HEPA air purifiers will use H12 HEPA filters.

However, H13 is even better than normal HEPA filters. Specifically, the H13 filter captures particles that are more than 3x smaller than classic HEPA filters. Here’s the H13 HEPA standard:

“H13 HEPA filters remove at least 99.9% of airborne particles 0.1 micrometers (μm) in diameter.”

H13 HEPA, compared to HEPA or True HEPA, removes even the smallest particles True HEPA is unable to capture. Here include asbestos particles, paint pigments, insecticides, and so on, as seen on the True HEPA vs H13 HEPA comparison here:

hepa vs h13 hepa filter comparison

H13 HEPA filters are so thorough they are used in clinics, hospitals, and dental offices. Here’s the last question:

What’s the difference between the H13 HEPA filters and Medical-Grade HEPA filters?

There is none. H13 HEPA filters are simply so thorough they are used in medical settings; hence the name ‘Medical-Grade’.

Here’s the bottom line:

If you’re looking to buy a HEPA air purifier, you’re looking for high-efficiency air purification. The best commercially available HEPA filters are the H13 HEPA filters. Hence, the best HEPA air purifiers are the ones with H13 HEPA filters.

LearnMetrics recommends 5 top-rated H13 HEPA air purifiers. After the list, you will find the H13 HEPA air purifier comparison table, an explanation of the filtration system, as well as reviews of each of the H13 HEPA filter air purifiers. Here’s the list:

  1. Hathaspace HSP002 (Best H13 HEPA Air Purifier With 5-Stage Filtration System)
  2. Alen BreatheSmart 45i (Quietest H13 HEPA Air Purifier Perfect For Bedroom)
  3. Medify MA-40 (Specialized Medical-Grade HEPA Air Purifier)
  4. Okaysou AirMax8L (Cheapest H13 HEPA Air Purifier That’s Actually Great)
  5. Levoit LV-H135 (High-Performance H12 HEPA Air Cleaner With Highest CADR Rating)

Comparison Of Best H13 HEPA Air Purifiers In 2021

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H13 HEPA Air Purifier: #1 Hathaspace HSP002 #2 Alen BreatheSmart 45i #3 Medify Air MA-40 #4 Okaysou AirMax8L #5 Levoit LV-H135
Photo: h13 hepa air purifer medify ma 40
Room Size: 300 sq ft (5 ACH) 320 sq ft (5 ACH) 336 sq ft (5 ACH) 320 sq ft (5 ACH) 318 sq ft (5 ACH)
CADR Rating: 265 245 330 210 360
Filtration System: 5-Stage Filtration With H13 HEPA Filter H13 True HEPA Filters (3 Options) High-Grade H13 HEPA Medical Grade H13 Ultra-Duo HEPA (4 Options) High-Grade H13 HEPA
Noise Levels: 30-60 dB 23-49 dB 46-66 dB 22-51 dB 26-54 dB
Certification: Energy Star, ETL, CARB + EPA Air Quality Index sensor Energy Star, CARB Energy Star, ETL, CARB CE, FCC, ETL, CARB ETL, CARB, FCC
Price: $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars 4.7 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.2 out of 5 stars
Availability: Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

GermGuardian 3 + 1 Filtration System With UV-Light Filter

 

With this in mind, let’s look at the best GermGuardian air purifiers:


1. Hathaspace HSP002 Review (Best H13 HEPA Air Purifier With 5-Stage Filtration System)

Best H13 HEPA Air Purifier With 5-Stage Filtration System
Coverage Area: 300 sq ft (5 ACH)
CADR Rating: 265
Filters: 5-Stage Filtration With H13 HEPA Filter
Noise Levels: 30-60 dB
Dimensions: 9 x 16.5 x 27 inches
Weight: 25 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars

Hathaspace HSP002 5-in-1 is the best H13 HEPA air purifier with a medical-grade 5-stage filtration system. When reverse-engineering the Hathaspace HSP002, you can see precisely what makes it so great.

The key part is the H13 HEPA filter that can capture more than 99% of particles that are as small as 0.1 microns, right? Nasty allergy-causing air pollutants such as pollen, dust mites, dust particles, bacteria, smoke, viruses. All 5 top-rated H13 HEPA air purifiers have very similar H13 HEPA filters.

Where Hathaspace HSP002 excels is how these precious filters are protected. For that, it uses not 1 but 2 pre-filters. The 1st pre-filter is washable and designed to capture large particles like pet dander (which would otherwise overwhelm the H13 HEPA filters. 2nd polypropylene filter removes larger dust particles and hair.

In addition to 2 pre-filters and the all-important medical-grade H13 HEPA filter, the Hathaspace HSP002 has an activated carbon filter and cold catalyst filter:

h13 hepa filter based system that captured more than 99% of 0.1 micron partictle
Hathaspace HSP002 is the only H13 HEPA filter air purifier with an extensive 5-stage filtration system.

Activated carbon filter has added zeolite that makes adsorption of odors and other gases such as VOCs (formaldehyde and benzene) easier. Cold catalysts filter presents additional protection against harmful chemicals found in household cleaning products. 

Hathaspace HSP002 has a high 265 CADR rating with a 300 sq ft recommended coverage area with 5 air changes per hour. These specs are top-notch but do keep in mind that they evaluate HEPA-level purification performance, not H13 HEPA-level performance. 

In short, the Hathaspace HSP002 has it all. Exceptional 5-in-1 filter system with the best medical-grade H13 HEPA filters, Auto Mode, air quality sensor, Energy Star certified, and 5-year warranty. It’s the perfect H13 HEPA air purifier.

Hathaspace HSP002

Pros
  • Exceptional 5-stage filtration system with medical-grade H13 HEPA purifier (protected by 2 pre-filters)
  • High 265 CADR rating for smoke, pollen, and dust; designed for about 300 sq ft rooms (with 5 ACH)
  • Actually the most popular H13 HEPA air purifiers in 2021
  • Affordable price for mid-to-large sized air purifier (around $400)
Cons
  • Noise level at the highest setting can reach 60 dB

2. Alen BreatheSmart 45i Review (Quietest H13 HEPA Air Purifier For Bedroom)

Quietest H13 HEPA Air Purifier
Coverage Area: 320 sq ft (5 ACH)
CADR Rating: 245
Filters: H13 True HEPA Filters (3 Options)
Noise Levels: 23-49 dB
Dimensions: 8.5 x 15 x 25 inches
Weight: 15 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Alen BreatheSmart is an Alen air purifier series, designed specifically to increase the quality of sleep. Waking up more refreshed and falling asleep easier kind of way, via increased bedroom air quality, of course. If you check the Alen BeatheSmart reviews, you can see that the 45i model is the best one.

Alen BreatheSmart 45i has an option to pick any of the 3 kinds of H13 medical-grade HEPA filters. The most basic version – the ones most people actually pick – is designed to remove dust, mold, and pet odors. The H13 HEPA filter will remove more than 99% of all air particles that come through Alen BreatheSmart 45i and are as small as 0.1-microns.

2nd option of the H13 HEPA filter has an additional ‘Light Smoke’ filter. It’s a 0.66 activated carbon filter. 3rd option comes with the ‘Heavy Smoke’ activated carbon filter that weighs 2+ lbs. This is the most powerful one, designed to remove all undesirable odors.

Here are the two superb Alen BreatheSmart 45i specifications:

  1. Max. noise level is only 45 dB. That makes this unit the quietest H13 HEPA air purifier.
  2. Low power consumption, from 1.1 to 50 Watts. It also has an Energy Star rating.

All in all, the Alen BreatheSmart 45i is a quiet, energy-efficient air purifier with 3 H13 HEPA filter options. If you’re not concerned about odors, the standard ‘Dust, Mold, Pet Odors’ is actually the best option.

Alen BreatheSmart 45i

Pros
  • Quietest H13 HEPA filter air purifier designed to improve sleep quality (via increasing air quality)
  • Very energy-efficient with Energy Star rating with 3 options of H13 HEPA filters
  • An amazing modern design
  • Actually an affordable price for an Alen air purifier (below $500)
Cons
  • Good but not exceptional CADR rating
  • Doesn’t have a designated activated carbon filter

3. Medify MA-40 Review (Specialized Medical-Grade HEPA Air Purifier)

Specialized Medical-Grade HEPA Air Purifier
Coverage Area: 336 sq ft (5 ACH)
CADR Rating: 330
Filters: High-Grade H13 HEPA
Noise Levels: 46-66 dB
Dimensions: 10.5 x 11 x 26 inches
Weight: 15 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

If you’ve checked the Medify air purifier reviews, you know that the H13 HEPA filter is central for all Medify units. Medify MA-40 is the most popular model; simply because it has great specs and is designed for larger spaces.

Both CADR rating, as well as 5 air changes per hour room size, are 300+. Medify MA-40 has a 330 CADR rating and 320 sq ft room size if we use 5 ACH calculations.

Medify is one of the few air purifier brands that uses H13 HEPA filters in all of their models. They are specialized in this medical-grade filtration system. This makes them quite reliable. 

For example, Medify MA-40 H13 HEPA filters only need to be replaced after 2500 running hours. If you run this unit for 8 hours per day, you will need to replace the H13 HEPA filters about once a year.

It’s also the first H13 HEPA purifier that doesn’t cost $400 or more. It does have quite high noise levels, however.

Medify MA-40

Pros
  • 300+ double specs: 330 CADR rating and 336 sq ft coverage area (with 5 ACH)
  • Medify is specialized in H13 HEPA air purifiers; they have 2500-hour filters
  • Best one below $400
Cons
  • Higher noise rates (up to 66 dB)
  • Not advanced purification system and only 1 H13 HEPA filter option

4. Okaysou AirMax8L Review (Cheapest H13 HEPA Air Purifier That’s Actually Great)

Cheapest H13 HEPA Air Purifier That’s Actually Great
Coverage Area: 320 sq ft (5 ACH)
CADR Rating: 210
Filters: Medical Grade H13 Ultra-Duo HEPA (4 Options)
Noise Levels: 22-51 dB
Dimensions: 12.9 x 7.1 x 19.4 inches
Weight: 13.7 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Okaysou is a lesser-known brand; they are known for creating budget-friendly high-performance air purifiers. Here’s the kick: the get that performance, they use H13 HEPA filters. The best and the most popular model is the Okaysou AirMax8L.

Okaysou has developed a unique Ultra-Duo purification system with HEPASilent technology. That tech is the very reason why Okaysou AirMax8L is so quiet, even at the highest fan speed setting. Most H13 HEPA air purifiers that suffer from air pressure drop will have, as a result, higher noise rates (above 60 dB).

Okaysou AirMax8L has a noise rate of 51 dB. That almost as low as the Alen BreatheSmart 45i H13 HEPA air purifier.

But the great H13 medical-grade filtration system and low noise rates aren’t the best things about this unit:

It’s the price.

Okaysou is a newer brand and has to compete in a very competitive air purifier market. They decided to compete with low prices. The result is that the Okaysou AirMax8L – an H13 HEPA filter air purifier – costs less than $150.

That’s an insane price for a 210 CADR and 320 sq ft coverage area air purifier. Here the review with the link to Okaysou’s own website:

Okaysou AirMax8L

Pros
  • The cheapest price-performance air purifier with H13 HEPA filters
  • Okaysou developed HEPASilent tech to create a low noise unit (up to 51 dB)
  • Budget-friendly from unit price, energy usage (Energy Star rated) and replacement filters
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a lot of brand recognition yet (newer brand)
  • CADR rating could be higher than 210

5. Levoit LV-H135 Review (Best Desktop Medify Air Purifier)

Best Desktop Medify Air Purifier
Coverage Area: 318 sq ft (5 ACH)
CADR Rating: 360
Filters: High-Grade H13 HEPA
Noise Levels: 26-54 dB
Dimensions: 24.6 x 13.6 x 13.4 inches
Weight: 17.8 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Levoit is a well-known air purifier brand in the US. The best Levoit air purifier is the Levoit LV-H135; which happens to have an H13 HEPA filter.

That’s right; the Levoit LV-H135 model comes with the medical-grade HEPA filter that can capture more than 99% of the smallest air pollutants that are tiny – down to 0.1 microns in size.

The key specification that sticks out is the most important one: the CADR rating. Levoit LV-H135 has an amazingly high 360 CADR rating. Not even the best H13 HEPA air purifier Hathaspace HSP002 has that high CADR rating. 

Levoit LV-H135 is quite a silent device with maximal noise levels of 54 dB. However, LM misses the Energy Star rating that all top 3 H13 HEPA filter air purifiers have.

The filtration system is also a very basic 3-stage one. Yes, it has a medical-grade H13 HEPA filter in the center, but that’s pretty much it.

All in all, a decent H13 HEPA air purifier for an affordable price but it’s quite far from being the best medical-grade air purifier.

Levoit LV-H135

Pros
  • Highest CADR rating of 360 with just the basic 3-stage filtration system
  • Low noise levels
  • Affordable price
Cons
  • Does have the most basic 3-stage filtration system, nothing advanced
  • No Energy Star rating; H13 HEPA filters can stop airflow and be electricity-draining

All in all, you can see that the upgraded H13 HEPA air purifiers are more difficult to build-in an air purifier. Nevertheless, the increased air purification as a result of the smaller H13 HEPA pores is well worth the engineering sweat and a slightly higher price for consumers.

To check the very best air purifier, you can check out the complete list here

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